eBay Software Seller Sentenced To Four Years - InformationWeek

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7/24/2008
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eBay Software Seller Sentenced To Four Years

Jeremiah Mondello was found guilty of stealing bank account information and creating more than 40 fake eBay and PayPal identities to sell illegal copies of software.

Tech-savvy eBay seller Jeremiah Mondello faces four years in federal prison, followed by three years supervised release, for selling counterfeit software through the online auction site.

In May Mondello, an Oregon resident, pleaded guilty to copyright infringement, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft after investigators accused him of stealing bank account information and creating more than 40 fake eBay and PayPal identities to sell illegal copies of software. Authorities said he raked in a five- to six-figure sales volume.

He was sentenced Thursday to jail time, supervision, and 150 hours of community service annually. Authorities also seized Mondello's personal computers and $220,000.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) initiated the investigation of Mondello by providing information to the U.S. Department of Justice. DOJ turned the case over to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crime Center.

"Mondello is a whiz-kid who used his smarts and savvy to rip off software makers and consumers," said Keith Kupferschmid, senior VP of Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement for SIIA. "We are fortunate that he has been stopped, but there are hundreds more like him running illegal operations on eBay and other sites. The Mondello case demonstrates that these pirates won't simply get a slap on the wrist when caught. They very well may end up doing serious time in federal prison."

Kupferschmid said in a statement that SIIA has aggressively filed lawsuits this year and intends "to send a clear message that auctioning counterfeit and unauthorized software will lead to serious penalties."

The SIIA also announced six new lawsuits claiming other auction site sellers sold illegal software, bringing the group's total number of lawsuits to 32 through its Auction Litigation Program so far this year. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will hear the six latest cases, which SIIA brought on behalf of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

They accuse the following defendants of knowingly selling software illegally on eBay: Nathanael S. Landsteiner of Fairmont, Minn.; John Hoyle and Gail La Fortune, of Senoia, Georgia; Gennadiy Barbin of Boise, Idaho; Tamara Irby of Nathalie, Virginia; Trisha Carter of Maggie Grace Designs, of Denham Springs, Louisiana.; and Andreh Lee, of Elmhurst, New York.

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